scorecardSmartmatic subpoenas Donald Trump's former campaign in lawsuit against Fox News over 2020 election conspiracy theories
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Smartmatic subpoenas Donald Trump's former campaign in lawsuit against Fox News over 2020 election conspiracy theories

Jacob Shamsian,Madison Hall   

Smartmatic subpoenas Donald Trump's former campaign in lawsuit against Fox News over 2020 election conspiracy theories
PoliticsPolitics2 min read
Former President Donald Trump.    AP Photo/Evan Vucci
  • Smartmatic subpoenaed Donald Trump's 2020 campaign, which has since become his MAGA PAC.
  • The subpoenas were issued for Smartmatic's defamation lawsuits against Fox News and Newsmax.

Smartmatic subpoenaed ex-President Donald Trump's former campaign operation this week as part of its defamation lawsuits over election conspiracy theories.

The election technology company — which was falsely accused of manipulating the 2020 presidential election results by Trump's lawyers — issued the subpoenas as part of its defamation lawsuits against Fox News and Newsmax.

The subpoenas were issued on April 12 and made public in court filings Tuesday. They seek communications and files from Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., Trump's campaign vehicle for the 2016 and 2020 elections. The organization has since been transformed into Trump's PAC for his 2024 presidential campaign, called the Make America Great Again PAC, according to Federal Election Commission filings reviewed by Insider.

In the subpoenas, Smartmatic asks for all communications regarding Smartmatic or Dominion — a rival election technology company also caught up in conspiracy theories — in connection with Fox News and Newsmax around the time of the 2020 election. They also ask for communication regarding appearances by Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, two attorneys who advanced the conspiracy theories on behalf of the Trump campaign.

Smartmatic and Dominion have each filed a series of defamation lawsuits against Fox News, Newsmax, the right-wing network One America News, Powell, Giuliani, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and other figures who pushed falsehoods about the 2020 election.

Powell and Giuliani both worked for the Trump campaign and pushed a false conspiracy theory that Dominion and Smartmatic, in cahoots with each other, worked to "flip" results from then-President Trump to now-President Joe Biden. Smartmatic has since alleged that the media organizations defamed them by hosting Powell and Giuliani, and either endorsing or not sufficiently pushing back on their claims.

Fox News settled Dominion's lawsuit last month, just moments before a scheduled trial was set to begin with opening statements in Delaware Superior Court. The media company agreed to pay $787.5 million, the largest publicly known settlement for a defamation case in US history.

The other lawsuits appear to be hurtling forward. Smartmatic's cases against Fox News in New York and against Newsmax in Delaware appear to be moving swiftly through their discovery phases.

Smartmatic has cast a wide net and seeks to build on Dominion's litigation. In April, lawyers for Fox News agreed to turn over a trove of documents it produced for Dominion's case after Smartmatic's attorneys complained to the judge that it had been slow in responding to discovery requests. The election company also issued a more narrow subpoena to the Trump campaign — formally known as Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. — for the Fox News lawsuit in March, court filings show.

The subpoenas indicate that Smartmatic seeks to penetrate the inner workings of Trump's campaign operation to understand their links with right-wing media organizations. In recent months, Smartmatic also issued subpoenas to other people who are known to advise Trump, including Boris Epshtyn, Bernard Kerik, and Christina Bobb. It also subpoenaed the attorney Alan Dershowitz and Abby Grossberg, a former Fox News producer involved in her own litigation against the network.

Representatives for the Make America Great Again PAC and for Trump's 2024 campaign operation didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.




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